Google Earth goes three-dimensional

Ahead of the WWDC conference next week, when Apple is expected to announce a decision to dump Google Maps in favour of their own mapping services on iOS 6, Google itself has announced some exciting updates to Maps and Earth.

Android owners may be pleased by the app’s new offline mode, giving the ability to download maps to use offline, but the most exciting new feature is 3D cityscapes soon to be introduced to Google Earth mobile apps.

As well as looking pretty awesome, 3D cityscapes looks to be great for the future of mobile apps and augmented reality, as Google’s ‘Geospatial technologist’ Ed Parsons says: “It gives you the ability to attach information to objects in three dimensions. For example, I’m currently sitting on the sixth floor of an office in Soho, and that’s three-dimensional information. Increasingly, mapping will be more and more 3D online, and on mobile devices.”

Google Street View also be getting an update, venturing further than the street with Street View Trekkers capturing areas on foot. With Street View cameras in rucksacks, Google can take people, as Parsons says: “Up Snowdon, down the Grand Canyon, out in the wilds of England, Scotland and Wales… places they wouldn’t visit.” Looking forward to it!

For more details about Google Maps’ updates, visit the Guardian blog here.